Today, the first zero-fuel solar airplane departed Abu Dhabi for a world first attempt at circumnavigating the planet – watch the live feed here. The Solar Impulse Project has developed and built the Solar Impulse 1 & 2; the Si2 will take off on the first leg of its 5 month round the world trip, stopping off first in Muscat and then heading across India, China, the US, Europe, Africa and back to Abu Dhabi.
The project has been 13 years in the making, with the aerospace industry telling the team at every step that it couldn’t be done – yet here we are! This is a monumental world first, not just for the future of air travel, but for the future of renewable energy technologies. It shows us the endless possibilities and applications for renewables, and how perseverance and innovation can make things happen.
Huge amount of financial and diplomatic support has been provided by the Swiss Foreign Ministry, as well as by Solvay, Mazda, Omega, Schindler, ABB, Bayer, Google & MoetHennessy – even Richard Branson. The Foreign Ministries of all the countries along the round the world route have worked together to provide all diplomatic and technical support needed for each leg.
“We are doing this to have technology for a cleaner future and a cleaner world. Using renewable technologies we, on the ground, are showing a new way forward for those in the air” said founder Bertrand Pickard. Pilot Andre Borschberg is pumped and ready for the flight, and will be doing interviews with a number of international news program whilst in the air.
You can watch the a live feed of the flight via Solar Impulse TV from www.solarimpulse.com.